India relaxes norms, document requirements for passport application

The government has eased certain rules regarding passport application including the requirement of proving names of both parents as also relaxing rules regarding age proof.

The ministry of external affairs (MEA) on today announced a slew of new provisions aimed at streamlining and easing the passport application process.

As per the extant statutory provisions of the Passport Rules, 1980, all the applicants born on or after 26 January 1989, in order to get a passport, had to, hitherto, mandatorily submit the `Birth Certificate' as proof of date of birth. It has now been decided that all applicants of passports can submit any one of the documents, including: birth certificate issued by any prescribed authority empowered to register the birth of a child born in India, transfer/school leaving/matriculation certificate issued by the school last attended/recognised educational board, PAN card, Aadhaar card or E-Aadhaar, attested copy of the extract of the service record or the Pay Pension Order, driving licence, election photo ID card, or policy bond issued by LIC.

The decision follows recommendations of a three-member committee comprising officials of the ministry of external affairs and the ministry of women and child development constituted to examine various issues pertaining to passport applications

The ministry of women and child development has insisted that the name of the father should not be mentioned in the passport and also relating to passport issues to children with single parent and to adopted children. The report of the committee has been accepted by the minister of external affairs.

Also, the online passport application form now requires the applicant to provide the name of either father or mother or legal guardian, ie, only one parent and not both. This would enable single parents to apply for passports for their children and to also issue passports where the name of either the father or the mother is not required to be printed at the request of the applicant.

The total number of annexes prescribed in the Passport Rule, 1980, has been brought down to 9 from the present 15. Annexes A, C, D, E, J, and K have been removed and certain annexes have been merged.

All the annexes that are required to be given by the applicants would be in the form of a self declaration on a plain paper. No attestation/swearing by/before any Notary/Executive Magistrate/First Class Judicial Magistrate would henceforth be necessary.

Married applicants would not be required to provide Annexure K or any marriage certificate.

The passport application form does not require the applicant to provide the name of her/his spouse in case of separated or divorced persons. Such applicants for passports would not be required to provide even the divorce decree.

Orphaned children who do not have any proof of DoB such as Birth Certificate or the Matriculation Certificate or the declaratory court order, may now submit a declaration given by the Head of the Orphanage/Child Care Home on their official letter head of the organization confirming the DOB of the applicant.

In case of children not born out of wedlock, the applicant for the passport of such children should submit only Annexure G while submitting the passport application.

In case of issue of passport to in-country domestically adopted children, submission of the registered adoption deed would no longer be required. In the absence of any deed to this effect, the passport applicant may give a declaration on a plain paper confirming the adoption.

Government servants, who are not able to obtain the Identity Certificate (Annexure-B)/ No-Objection Certificate (Annexure-M) from their concerned employer and intend to get the passport on urgent basis can now get the passport by submitting a self-declaration in Annexure-'N' that he/she has given prior intimation letter to his/her employer informing that he/she was applying for an ordinary passport to a Passport Issuing Authority.

Sadhus/ Sanyasis can apply for a passport with the name of their spiritual guru mentioned in the passport application in lieu of their biological parent(s) name(s) subject to their providing of at least one public document such as election photo identity card, PAN card, Aadhaar card etc wherein the name of the guru has been recorded against the column(s) for parent(s) name(s).

Necessary notifications would be soon published in the official gazette to give effect to these changes. Instructions are also being issued to the Passport Issuing Authorities in India and abroad on these revised regulations.

The ministry of external affairs expects these changes to further ease the process for passport applicants in getting their passport. It would also enable the ministry to deliver passport related services to citizens in a timely, transparent, more accessible, reliable manner and in a comfortable environment through streamlined processes and committed, trained and motivated workforce, an official release stated.